OK, hate is a strong word we like to avoid.
So, we strongly dislike everything about legacy incident management systems.
Well, is the platform still operating directly on your desktop computer?
Did you install it with a CD…ten years ago?
Then it’s time.
Time to reinvest in your operation before your outdated system consumes your operation and forces you into early retirement.
You need to understand the makings of a legacy system so you can avoid these “solutions” at all costs.
Are you ready?
Are you truly ready to witness all the ways a legacy system will hold you back from achieving Proactive Operations?
Let’s jump right in.
THE DANGEROUS FACTS ABOUT OLD INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
It’s a cold fact:
Legacy incident management systems can’t create order from chaos or help you achieve Proactive Operations.
But knowing the bad stuff will help you easily recognize the good stuff.
You want the good stuff in a software solution.
That’s why we changed the focus of this article from what we usually write about (the good stuff) to what we’d like you to avoid.
Rather than showing you 21 qualities of a great incident management system, we figured you’d never forget the disadvantages of using a legacy system.
And this might be the final straw you need to make a serious change before it’s too late.
Here are the dangerous aspects of legacy incident management systems:
- Nothing web-based about them.
These systems are as far away as a system can get from being a web-based platform.
What does web-based mean?
In modern software solutions, you don’t need to access the platform by installing it via CD onto your desktop computer – you can jump on your favorite internet browsers like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and access the platform via the web.
- ‘Real-time’ and ‘Communication’ don’t appear in the same sentence.
We discuss the importance of communication quite often.
Frankly, it’s vital to becoming and maintaining an effective operation.
Systems like these don’t give you the ability to get details and the status of an issue or incident via text, email, or mobile app immediately.
- Your staff can’t manage incident details from multiple locations or anywhere for that matter, well, except your office computer.
Remember #1 on this list?
Newer software solutions have an added advantage that your legacy system is missing.
Do you have supervisors that manage multiple locations?
Old, outdated incident management software doesn't have the capabilities needed for today’s operation.
It gets worse:
Only proactive software solutions will have the ability to make updates to an incident that can be immediately seen by all staff…from anywhere they’re logged into the software.
- Lack of segmentation.
Permissions allow your staff to see only what they need to see.
Segmenting information keeps your team organized.
The only way to keep your team organized and efficient is to keep you away from a system that doesn’t offer any segmentation.
- Still operate in only black and white.
In an incident management software solution, you need color.
To see everything the way you need to see it. In old systems, things get overlooked.
In modern software solutions, incidents are color-coded by status, so nothing gets overlooked!
Changing to a new system means you’re one step closer to reducing errors in your management of and response to incidents or issues.
- Pen and paper are negatively affecting your environment.
All of your communication, incident details, and related documents are not digitally stored and can’t be accessed at any time in the future, because a legacy system still requires the use of pen and paper.
Which leads us to the next point.
- Lack of liability protection.
You want to protect your venue from potential liabilities.
These systems increase stress.
If you haven’t already noticed, there’s no way those illegible, handwritten notes will hold up in a court of law.
With a modern software solution:
You’re no longer stressed about finding paper reports in a folder from three years ago.
- No ability to connect related incidents.
In systems we see these days, when incidents come into the system separately – but are connected in some way – they can be linked to keep a full and comprehensive record.
In a legacy, best of luck even knowing if incidents are related to begin with, much less digitally linking them for full and completed records.
- Vital information can be altered by anyone.
Locking incidents prevents your staff from changing the details of any incident.
How awful is it knowing these systems only increase the finger pointing among your team?
Without the ability to lock incidents, your venue is susceptible to fraudulent changes to important incident details.
This can’t happen.
- Customization wasn’t invented yet.
Having the ability to create custom fields in a web-based system for incidents related to your operation, so that you’re always documenting correct information specific to your operation, but you’re still using a legacy system – is like using a flip phone when Apple just released the iPhone XS Max.
Yes…you read correctly…the iPhone XS Max.
Still using a legacy system means you’re missing out on your ability to take full control of your operation and ability to customize the areas you need.
- Didn’t get the memo or notification.
Scheduling and sending alerts to multiple supervisors or staff is as simple as a few clicks.
Well, at least you would think…
This is the value we’ve only seen present in modern, proactive systems.
When a specific incident is reported, a message is forwarded to the need-to-know contacts on your team – automatically.
- Doesn’t contribute to your emergency management plan.
Everyone has one:
An emergency management plan binder that’s collecting dust on a bookshelf somewhere.
But, are you using yours?
If you’re using a legacy system, you wasted all the hard work you’ve put into your plan.
There’s no way to set up your plan’s protocols-to-handle to display in your system – by incident type – so that your staff knows exactly what to do when a specific incident occurs.
This is something that truly requires prearranged response policies.
And you’re not getting the efficiency you need.
- Allocating resources is unimaginable.
Think about it:
To effectively, efficiently, and expeditiously respond to issues and incidents – your operation requires a lot of resources.
- Customer Service
Do you feel your current system is helping with this process in any way?
You need to see the number and details of incidents assigned to each member of your team in real time.
Moving away from a legacy system will afford you the ability to determine who might be the quickest to respond to an incident at any moment.
- Operational tasks are important, but you won’t be able to get anything done.
Can you send automatic notifications by text, email, or mobile app to your team?
Can you easily remind them when tasks are due?
Do you have peace of mind knowing they’ll get the assigned tasks completed?
Not with a legacy system.
Here’s the kicker:
Accountability is a key value of an innovative system.
Without one, you’ll never have the digital records you need to ensure accountability.
- Who was involved? Seriously, who was involved?
Let’s say you’ve encountered an incident with someone you believe to be a repeat offender.
Are you equipped with the correct info to follow through on your responsibilities?
You think you’ve seen this person involved in another incident, but do you know anything about them?
- What’s their name?
- What other incidents have they been involved?
- Have they already received a trespassing order?
With your legacy system, you’ll never know.
To store and easily access information of persons previously involved in incidents – you need an innovative incident management software solution.
- You could always send reports to yourself, right?
When your system isn’t flexible, you can only rely on partially populated spreadsheets giving you a quarter of the details.
Reporting features allow you to pull any information from these systems.
Customize data the way you need to, and then send it off to your supervisors and boss.
This is where you cross the chasm from a legacy system to an innovative system that’ll prove its ROI in no time.
- Nothing easy about these systems.
It’s exhausting to walk around 1,500,000+ square feet with a pen and paper to document incident details.
You need to stop doing this.
Not only are you losing your patience over dispatching incidents within inadequate timeframes - there's no way to track any of the details and updates.
If that doesn’t halt your chances of achieving Proactive Operations…we don’t know what else to say!
- If you don’t have world-class implementation training, you still have...
An old training manual?
Who wants that?
It’s crucial to have and use a system where your staff is trained to use it properly.
This will help maintain order and introduce a real, immediate value.
If a solution provider doesn’t hold your hand throughout the implementation process – you can be sure you’re looking at a legacy system.
If all of your staff is not able to use the software, then why are you using it?
- No ongoing training and support.
For legacy systems, when they ship your CD for installation…the buck stops here.
You’ll get access to some FAQs or an outdated training manual.
But once you’ve installed that CD, there are no future updates.
There’s no continuous improvement.
They won’t make you feel like a part of their development team, well, probably because the development team has already moved on or retired.
You need a software provider with world-class, ongoing support and training.
One that will make you feel like a part of the development team.
One that will constantly be accessible for training of your existing and new staff.
One that is always improving their software and sending it to you without sending you a bill!
- Accept it. It’s going to be complicated anyway.
A legacy system forces you to involve your IT department and other departments when maintaining your system.
If you stick to a legacy system, you might as well start learning rocket science too.
You’ll spend the next ten years trying to “integrate” your system with other departmental platforms.
Do you accept that?
We won’t let you.
- If you believe in evolving your operation, this will be the impetus for change.
It’s simple, with a progressive incident management solutions provider, you can easily grow your operation.
With a legacy system…you can’t.
It gets better:
A scalable system will adapt to your needs.
We could’ve started and ended with this, but we don’t think you would have understood the true importance of moving away from a legacy system.
An innovative incident management software solution allows you and your team to grow professionally, develop better processes, and constantly strive to greater and greater efficiency without the problem of outgrowing the software.
OVER TO YOU
Now that you’ve heard the facts, what are you going to do?
Let us know your thoughts on legacy systems and how you think it affects overall operations.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.